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Performance Standards are Key to Quality Fenestration Products

These updated standards keep up with the latest technology and performance demands

Fenestration products are made up of a multitude of components that all need to perform properly to achieve optimum performance in the finished unit. To achieve this, it’s critical to have reliable and current standards by which component and whole unit product performance can be determined. And that’s where trade associations like FGIA and NGA become an essential part of the process.

The North American Fenestration Standard accounts for the unique properties of today’s different framing profile materials. The minimum performance requirements established by NAFS-referenced specifications are based on many years of research and testing, as well as accumulated field experience. Several important component standards FGIA developed have been updated in 2022 to keep up with the latest technologies and performance demands.

Reinforced thermoset profiles

AAMA 305-22, Voluntary Specification for Fiber Reinforced Thermoset Profiles, was previously updated in 2018. It establishes performance requirements and references ASTM test procedures for dimensional stability, impact resistance, tensile strength, flexural strength, compressive strength, water absorption, thermal expansion, heat deflection temperature and color weatherability.

The specification defines two different performance levels. Level I performance is adequate for most fenestration applications. For applications that require higher flexural strength and stiffness, an optional Level II sets forth test loading parameters up to seven times those of Level I. The 2022 edition replaced references to the organic coating finishes documents and instead now references AAMA 307, Voluntary Specification for Laminates Intended for Use on AAMA Certified Profiles.

PVC corner weld testing

The re-titled and updated AAMA 320-22, Standard and Guideline for Quality Welding, Bonding, and Ventilation of Thermoplastic (PVC) Extrusion Based Fenestration Products, provides guidelines for welded corners to reduce the risk of heat-induced deformation and malfunction of PVC framing profiles.

Although this test is not performed on the entire fenestration assembly, given the importance of corner weld integrity to the long-term performance of PVC products, consensus has been reached that the corner weld test is an excellent quality control procedure. This is demonstrated with the Appendix A, which is not mandatory, being moved in the 2022 edition to become Section 10.0 of the document, resulting in compliance requirements. FGIA is considering adding this test to minimum in-house Quality Management System requirements as a qualification for AAMA Gold Label certification.

Aluminum finishes

Three updated documents describe test procedures and performance requirements for organic coatings: AAMA 2603-22, Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Pigmented Organic Coatings on Aluminum Extrusions and Panels (with Coil Coating Appendix), AAMA 2604-22, which covers the same for High Performance Organic Coatings, and AAMA 2605-22, for Superior Performance Organic Coatings, which is a “good-better-best” trio of increasingly stringent performance criteria for coatings of increasing minimum thickness.

All three standards test for color uniformity, specular gloss, dry film hardness, film adhesion, impact resistance, chemical resistance, corrosion resistance and resistance to color fading due to weathering. For other properties, exposure conditions vary. For example, exposure to the corrosive influences of high humidity and salt spray increases across 2603, 2604 and 2605 from 1,500 hours to 3,000 hours to 4,000 hours, respectively. Outdoor weathering test duration also increases from one year to five years to 10 years, respectively.

AAMA 2603 was modified in 2022 to provide clarity to the user when the impact testing is performed that the tape adhesion testing is performed in the concave area of deformation. The weathering requirements for AAMA 2604 and 2605 were changed so that the comparison is made to initial reading while allowing for accepting masked area measurements as well.

Side-hinged doors

Two updated specifications cover the testing of side-hinged doors for key durability performance attributes: AAMA 920-22, Specification for Operating Cycle Performance of Active Side-Hinged Exterior Door Slabs, and AAMA 925-22, Specification for Determining the Vertical Loading Resistance of Side-Hinged Door Systems.

AAMA 920-22, previously reissued in 2016, describes cycle testing of door systems and their associated hardware under accelerated operating conditions. The total number of open/close cycles applied in the test increases with the NAFS Performance Class for which the door is intended, ranging from 25,000 for R Class doors up to 500,000 for AW Class doors. Of the three significant changes made to AAMA 920, two dealt with clarification and improved definitions of what constitutes failure of either the fasteners or the sealants. The third increased the number of items to better identify the door slab were added to the test report requirements.

AAMA 925-22, previously updated in 2017, provides a method for evaluating a door for its ability to withstand a significant cantilevered load applied vertically down the lock stile. The applied load increases with the target NAFS Performance Class, varying from 150 lbf for R and LC class rating up to 500 lbf for AW class. AAMA 925 adopted the same wording changes for failure that were made to AAMA 920.

As the new year begins, take the time to check your library to ensure you have on hand such up-to-date documents referencing all current test methods and quality assurance approaches. Documents can be purchased in the FGIA Online Store at


Janice Yglesias FGIA

Janice Yglesias

Janice Yglesias is the executive director of FGIA overseeing the full organization. She joined the association in 1999 and can be reached at